Use of lethal force against demonstrators in Myanmar shocked H&M so they halted placing orders there
H&M, the world’s second-largest apparel retailer, said on Monday that the use of lethal force against demonstrators in Myanmar had shocked it and that it had halted placing orders there.
According to the United Nations last week, police and military killed more than 50 people to put down regular protests and strikes against a February 1 military coup.
According to H&M’s website, the company has about 45 direct suppliers in Myanmar and has been sourcing there for seven years.
We have suspended placing new orders with our suppliers at this time, despite our refusal to take any immediate action regarding our long-term presence in the region. In an email, Serkan Tanka, Country Manager Myanmar, said.
This is due to logistical difficulties and an unpredictable situation that restricts our ability to operate in the region, including manufacturing and infrastructure challenges, raw material imports, and finished goods transportation.
Witnesses said two demonstrators were killed in Myanmar on Monday by gunshot wounds to the head, while stores, factories, and banks were closed in the country’s capital, Yangon, as part of the rebellion against the country’s military rulers.
H&M is concerned about the situation in the region, according to Tanka, and is in contact with UN agencies, diplomatic representatives, human rights experts, labor unions, and other multinational corporations.
These discussions will inform any potential decisions on how we, as a company, can best contribute to positive developments in Myanmar in accordance with the people’s will, he said.
Myanmar’s garment industry is smaller than that of Bangladesh, China, and Thailand, which are all neighbors. According to the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, the country’s approximately 600 factories are major employers, employing about 450,000 people by 2020.